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Facebook To Advertisers: Stop Counting Clicks




Someone check to see if hell froze over, because today, Facebook and I actually agree on something — counting clicks isn’t the way to measure success. What is? An increase in your profit margin, of course because unless you’re a non-profit, the whole point of advertising is to sell more of whatever it is your selling.

Brad Smallwood, head of measurement and insights for Facebook, took the stage at the Interactive Advertising Bureau MIXX Conference & Expo on Monday to talk about clicks, impressions and their new partnership with Datalogix.

He says that less than 1% of clickthroughs result in an in-store sale, so does that mean sellers should walk away from Facebook advertising? Of course not! In fact, Smallwood says that an increase in ad impressions might be called for.  He says advertisers can increase their ROI up to 40% by “focusing on frequency.”

We all know that the main reason clicks are so popular is because they’re easy to measure. But Datalogix says they can measure the correlation between impressions and sales by matching retail data to Facebook data. (I picture a giant computer skimming through billions of punchcards at a mile a minute.) One problem, consumer watchdogs are already sending angry letters to the FTC stating that Datalogix’s collection methods violate Facebook privacy guidelines.

While Facebook gets my pat on the back for trying to find a better way to measure success, it’s hard not to see it as a smoke screen to cover their own failures. With many big brands already jumping ship, it’s easy for the social network to point fingers and say ‘bad tools’ or even ‘bad campaign’ but at some point, they have to take responsibility for giving advertisers a decent return on their investment.